RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife have been indicted on federal corruption charges.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, says McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday. The 14-count indictment includes conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges.
McDonnell left office earlier this month after four years in the governor's office. Virginia law limits governors to a single term.
A federal investigation overshadowed the final months in office for this once-rising star of the Republican Party, with authorities looking into gifts he and his family received from a political donor.
In July, McDonnell apologized and said he had returned more than $120,000 in loans and other gifts from Johnnie Williams, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Star Scientific.
McDonnell himself has released a statement on the indictment:
"My fellow Virginians, earlier today federal prosecutors notified my attorneys that they have filed criminal charges against me and my wife Maureen, alleging that we violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific. I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship. I never promised – and Mr. Williams and his company never received – any government benefit of any kind from me or my Administration. We did not violate the law, and I will use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government."
William Burck of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, the lawyer for Maureen McDonnell, released this statement:
“Maureen McDonnell is innocent. The Department of Justice has overreached to bring these charges. Thankfully, however, the Department is not the sole arbiter in our justice system, which ultimately is not ruled by the unfounded suspicions of prosecutors but rather the law and the facts as decided by the judge and the jury.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today in response to the news that Bob McDonnell and his wife are in receipt of federal indictments:
“I am obviously troubled by the charges that federal prosecutors have made against Governor McDonnell and his wife Maureen and the message that this period in our history sends about how government in this Commonwealth is run. As this case progresses, it is my sincerest hope that justice will be served and that Virginians get the answers to which they are entitled. As Governor, I will remain focused on leading this Commonwealth in a way that restores Virginians’ trust in government and honors their expectation of transparency and accountability. I want to thank the many federal and state public safety officials who have worked on this case for their tireless and impartial efforts. Dorothy’s and my thoughts and prayers are with the entire McDonnell family. This is a sad day for Virginia, but I remain optimistic that we can work together to reform our system in order to prevent episodes like this from occurring ever again.”
The Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins also released a statement:
"Today's news is extremely disappointing. I've known Bob McDonnell and his family for a long time, and I have always been impressed with how he has worked to make our Commonwealth a better place for each and every Virginian. When I spoke to him earlier today, I told him the he and Maureen remain in my prayers.
"It is my fervent hope that the justice system will be allowed to take its course without sensationalism or partisanship. But these indictments are a reminder that our Commonwealth needs to enact ethics reform that promotes open and transparent government."
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